With the start of a New Year comes endless possibilities for change, progression, and enormous growth. New Year, New You, right?
But when it comes time to put those thoughts into action, it can feel a little overwhelming, to the point it leaves you wondering—where do I start? I’m glad you asked.
Follow your heart
If you follow your heart, stay realistic in your expectations, and keep your head in the game, you can’t lose.
When it comes to setting your goals, the first thing you want to do is make sure that the goals you choose aren’t arbitrary, and they aren’t based off of what other people expect of you. Choose goals that excite you and that make you actually want to get up 2 hours earlier every day, or work on your career instead of binge watch your favorite show.
Making time to grow your career might not always be easy, and it may not always be fun, but if you follow your heart, you’ll always be working towards the things that matter most to you and light your soul on fire. That’s a good place to be.
Make time for your music
There’s this phenomenon that many of us get caught up in where we spend a ton of time researching—an idea for a song, how to record at home, how to write a good bio—to the point that we never actually do the thing we’re researching. But here’s the thing—by virtue of spending all this time looking into it, we feel like we’ve actually done something, and so we pat ourselves on the back, take a break, and the cycle continues.
In short, this is a form of procrastination, probably based off of an underlying fear of what doing the thing actually means or requires. (more on that below). So one of the goals I suggest setting for yourself in 2019 (and forever and ever) is to actually make time for your music, and stick to it. That means choosing a set day and time that you accomplish certain tasks, and then sticking to it. For instance, Sunday at 7pm you schedule out the week’s social media. The 15th of every month you review your goals. Every Wed and Thur in your album release cycle you pitch press. And so on.
Also, set deadlines. If you need to research a bio, then you give yourself a deadline of 2 hours this week, and then you have to actually work on it.
Do at least one thing per month that scares you
Personally, I find this to be a great life goal as well. Every month, set a goal that scares you. You know what I mean. The kind of thing that you really want to do, that gets you closer to the person or band you want to be, but it’s just a little too scary, so you put it on the back burner.
In the new year, try taking that fear off the shelf, and confronting it head on—just remember to be kind to yourself. These should be small, attainable goals. If you’re terrified of talking to strangers, don’t start with a goal that requires you to cold call some major industry guru, instead just commit to talking to the bands you play with at your next show or at a show you’re attending that month.
By setting and completing these goals, you’re not only getting closer to who you want to be, you’re also growing your career and having new experiences. Not to mention, the more you conquer those fears, the more of an adrenaline high you’re likely to get, which leads to—you guessed it—wanting to tackle even more. It’s like getting supercharged in Mario Kart!
I truly believe collaboration is the future of the music industry. To put it simply, we need one another in order to thrive, and we grow so much faster (and more completely) when we allow others to help us, and when we offer our help and guidance to others in turn.
With the new year, make it a goal to collaborate with at least X amount of people, and then set a schedule and a few ideas for each. It can be something small like a split EP, or a joint show with another band, or more elaborate and creative partnering with the coffee shop downtown to make them a monthly playlist they can use in store, that includes some of your songs (and the songs of other local artists.) Get creative, and have fun with this!
One of the most important pieces of goal setting is remembering to check in and adjust accordingly. It’s ok for your goals to ebb and flow over time—they should be flexible. By taking the time to see where you’re at on a monthly or quarterly basis, you stay familiar with your goals (because you’re regularly looking at them) while having the ability to adjust them based on what’s working (and what isn’t).
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.